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Easton Green
Easton Green

There's Something About Movies PORTABLE



Asked about the differences between the young storytellers he met in China and their counterparts at USC, Squire replied, There are many similarities. They are passionate about movies and media, and they easily engage in the same fundamental issues of creativity, business and process.




There's Something About Movies



Richard Schickel is best known as a film critic, but he has been making documentaries about movies for almost as long as he's written about them. His latest-and most ambitious-is a five-part history of Warner Bros. studio.


When Bart gets into the quality of the movies themselves, he becomes unnecessarily nostalgic. He goes on a bit about how people really used to care about movies, but that now it's all packaging and profits. To be sure, there have been changes in how Hollywood plans and markets films, but the studios have always been about making money and people have always complained about how bad films are (compared to how they used to be). Without even getting into low- and medium-budget art films, the slate Hollywood offered in the summer of 1998 was diverse: Saving Private Ryan, There's Something About Mary, Bulworth, Small Soldiers, The Negotiator, The Avengers, Armageddon, The Truman Show, The Mask of Zorro, Deep Impact, The Horse Whisperer, Mulan, Out of Sight. You don't have to like all these films (I certainly don't) to recognize most were made by people sincerely striving to deliver solid entertainment, perhaps even art, not cynics just in it for a paycheck.


Despite its weaknesses, The Gross remains an interesting foray into Hollywood. When Bart set out to write his book he took as his model The Season, William Goldman's work about the 1967-68 Broadway season, where each chapter takes on a different production. Broadway has changed considerably since then, but that book is still delightful, filled with insights that make it worth reading even if it no longer describes how things get done on the Great White Way. It's doubtful The Gross will be remembered so fondly 30 years hence. However, while there's a better book waiting to be written about Bart's subject, until it comes out, The Gross will do just fine.


Others say circus atmosphere is what show business is all about - one of the things, anyway - and that popularity isn't the worst measuring stick for something as mercurial as the Hollywood film industry. 041b061a72


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